By 1937, recognizing that large power companies were switching from coal to oil, Leon Hess purchased five additional trucks and expanded his business to include post-refinery residual fuel oil. Just a year later purchasing facilities to unload barges and tankers. By the mid-1940s, Leon Hess expanded the company greatly, applying lessons he learned during his U.S. Army experience during World War II as a petroleum supply officer, and his knowledge of the industry.
In 1964, just four years after opening the first Hess branded gas station Leon Hess decided to offer families a fun, high quality and affordable toy for the holidays as a goodwill gesture to customers. With that decision, he created a toy for kids of all ages, the Hess Toy Truck, that has become a hallmark of the holiday season. Leon Hess wanted a toy truck made with outstanding craftsmanship and innovative use of electronics, and he wanted to offer it at a price families could afford with batteries included— a concept that endures to this day.
By the time he retired in 1995 after six decades of leadership, Leon Hess had grown Hess Corporation into one of the world’s largest energy companies and the Toy Truck had become one of the most popular and enduring toys in American history.
Today, Hess Corporation, is led by CEO John B. Hess, as an independent energy company which responsibly helps to meet the world's growing need for energy. In 2014 Hess Corporation transformed into a wholly focused exploration and production company, selling the legacy gas station business that had been the only retail outlet in its 50 year history. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Hess Toy Truck program that year, John B. Hess issued a letter to all fans including the emphatic statement that "This tradition will continue". And continue it has - with toys now available exclusively through this website at HessToyTruck.com, the Toy Truck tradition has grown to become among the largest selling toys on the internet.